By LINDA M. LINONIS
“Substantial” is the term used to describe a monetary gift to Cardinal Mooney High School by Denise DeBartolo York, CMHS class of 1968, and her brother, Eddie DeBartolo, class of 1964, and their families.
The announcement was made at a news conference Thursday morning at the school. The dollar amount was not disclosed as requested by the donors.
“This is the largest gift to a Mahoning Valley high school,“ said Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown. “We are profoundly grateful to the DeBartolo and York families for their commitment to Catholic education.”
The Rev. Gerald DeLucia, CMHS president, emphasized the substantial nature of the financial gift in that it will provide tuition assistance for students and be used for further renovations and updates at the 58-year-old school. The funds are specifically marked for use at the school’s location at 2545 Erie St. in the city.
Father DeLucia said the money will benefit two areas — endowments and building renovation.
Funds will be used for tuition assistance for current and prospective students. Current enrollment is about 500 students, and a third of Mooney students receive financial assistance, Father DeLucia said.
Annual tuition at Mooney is $7,200 for the 2014-15 academic year. Father DeLucia said about $500,000 in scholarships will be distributed for the coming year. He said for some families who want a Catholic education, money is an issue.
As for renovations, Father DeLucia said specifics are in the planning stage. He did note that extensive roof repairs were made last summer and more may be addressed. The building also underwent asbestos remediation.
Father DeLucia also said updates will include “cosmetic” issues and technology. “Our current location is safe and convenient. We have excellent athletic facilities and state-of-the-art computerized classrooms,” he said.
He said the school is working with the city to address abandoned houses in the vicinity.
Father DeLucia said the DeBartolo and York families’ donation “cements their legacy as a family that shares the Mooney values and beliefs and truly cares about the children of the Mahoning Valley.”
The donation will help Cardinal Mooney move forward, he said, and fulfill the slogan “Great Futures Start Here.”
Father DeLucia said Cardinal Mooney’s motto is sanctity, scholarship and discipline. “That refers to God, mind and body,” he said. “Our mission is to change lives.”